Meet Sieglinde – story of a local from South Tyrol/ Italy
You can only get to know a country by meeting its locals. May I introduce you to Sieglinde, a local from South Tyrol/ Italy.
An ambitious woman in the mountains
Fresh air, breathtaking scenery, growing and producing unspoilt food – welcome to Alpine life in the mountains! For Sieglinde, her husband, 1 of her 3 children, their 9 cows, 10 goats, 10 sheep, a few chicken, rabbits and 2 dogs this is every day life. Sieglinde, 47 years, and her family live in South Tyrol– whereas others come to spend their holidays, recharge their batteries and release stress, Sieglinde and her family are all too aware that life in the mountains is not only sunshine and rainbows.
Sieglinde’s day starts at 5am as by then the animals needs to be fed. From 7am onwards you can find her in her small cheese factory next to her house making cheese until around 9am. From then on she carries on with selling cheese, both in her shop and to different markets, taking tourists around on her farm and maintaining the garden. Another one of her daily chores is keeping the house and the apartment they rent out for tourists clean. After such a hectic day there often isn’t much time left to spend with family and friends or to relax. That’s how Sieglinde´s day is usually spent as a farmer’s wife. Going to bed late, getting up early again, being busy the entire day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I came to know Sieglinde as a really ambitious, hardworking woman.
How it all started
With her whole family, she moved from an apartment in Schenna to an alpine farm called ´Boarbichl´ in the mountains 12 years ago. The idea to do so came up because both she and her husband had grown up on farms and were missing the country life. Another reason for moving there was the fact that there wasn’t enough space anymore as she was pregnant with her 3rd child at the time. When they bought the farm they had to break the old house down and built a new one by themselves, Sieglinde explained to me.
If you struggle to survive you become innovative
Like everywhere in Europe, their move was around the time where the price of milk was dropping, which influenced their monthly income in a bad way. That’s why Sieglinde had to become innovative. She had to think of an idea of how to make extra money because the last thing they wanted was to lose their farm. The decision to make cheese was a really quick one. She then attended a course on how to make cheese and produced her own cheese for the first time in April of 2013. It took lots of courage to start her own business. She had to deal with many sleepless nights and disappointments related to how to make cheese in the right way but eventually it worked out and paid off. She runs her own business now and is constantly coming up with new ideas on how to promote her cheese. Sieglinde is a very honest and realistic woman. She told me straight away that it was not because of a passion of hers that she started making cheese. It was really just a way of surviving and keeping their farm. Her cheese is delicious though! She makes 4 different cheeses, yogurt and a fresh cheese. In terms of her future, she hopes that one of her children takes over the cheese factory and recognises the value of it. I admire Sieglinde’s power and persistence and wish her all the best.
Are you interested in Sieglinde´s cheese or renting her apartment?
Find her website here.
Watch Sieglinde making cheese:
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